Thursday, August 28, 2008


It's taper time for the DWD 50, which is a week from Saturday.  My last long run was last Saturday. 17 miles on the Buckeye. My goals for these two weeks are to:
1) Stay healthy.
2) Not gain weight.
3) Stay healthy.

I've done a few runs this weeks. Only stressor was a 4-mile tempo run on Tuesday. Everything else has been easy. Two days off from running, now, then a 10-miler on the trails Saturday.

Getting in a little pool time this week. The outdoor pool is all but closed for the season, so I am back in the "tub" at the YMCA. Battling for space with all the old folks. Coming back inside is like going back to work after two weeks of vacation.

Well, after two years of struggling with other strokes (on advice of various coaches), I've been using a front-quadrant style again.  Just in the last week or so, my 100 pace is down almost 30 seconds. Just like that. I kid you not. I did a 500 in 8:12 this morning. Which might not qualify me for the London Games, but it's faster than I've done a 500 in a long, long time.

This is the swim style I used when I was able to swim a 1:06:50 in Lake Placid. My best swim performance ever.  But the coaches watched me and told me I needed a faster turnover.  And I'm such a dope, I've been struggling with that for two years since.

Was it Mickey Mantle who said, "don't let 'em mess with your swing"? 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

NERC Cross Country Series

For the last three Tuesday evenings, I've run the Northeast Running Club's cross country series at Penitentiary Glen. I ran the series to get in some "speed" work approaching DWD. 

This is the closest I have ever come or will ever come to running high school cross country. See, most of the participants are high school kids. There are a few of us "elders", but I wouldn't be surprised if the average age is around 20. 

The races are a fairly laid back affair. $3 entry fee. Course marked with flags on the trails and fields throughout the park. I was able to get out of work in time to get there by 6:00 and get in a couple easy miles to warm up. Caught up with a few other runners I know. Enjoy the August weather. Line up and wait for the horn.

It's kind of a trip running with the kids. A lot of them seem to not have the pacing thing figured out yet. But they do have some agility on the trails that eludes me. I sort of get going and build up a head of steam that continues steadily for three miles. I power my way up hills and plow a straight line from point-to-point. Chug chug chug chug. The kids sort of dart past me like hyperactive hamsters on speedballs as they get a burst of energy, then drop back when they hit the wall. I feel like the "jam car" on the toy racetrack I had as a kid. 

Anyhow, I got in good workouts over the three weeks. It's actually a fairly tough 5K course, with a quarter-mile-long hill at the end. My best time was last week, when I posted 7:35s.